Monday, September 30, 2013

Hitting the High Notes

I made it through the weekend, and now I have to face a crazy week. For this convention, I'm on the staff as well as being a guest, so I get to help with set-up, I've got my PR job to do, and I'm helping with some other projects. But I still need to figure out what to wear, what I should say in my panels and what to read for my reading.

The what to read part is a challenge because it's hard to find scenes from books 5-7 of the Enchanted series that aren't spoilers for people who haven't read them, and people are still discovering that these books exist. I've already read the opening scene from the next new book a couple of times (though it is somewhat different now). Maybe I'll do something from the book that's currently in search of a good home. I may bring several selections and let whatever audience shows up decide.

My big personal triumph for the weekend was hitting a high B-flat on my own in front of an audience. I've never done that before. I hit that note a lot at home or in my car, and I've sung it as part of a choir, with everyone around me also hitting it. I haven't done that a lot lately, as for the past ten years or so I've been singing the second soprano part in choir. I'm not technically a mezzo soprano, but I can read music and find the harmony notes that aren't melody, and I'm willing to sing second. Once a choir director learns that you can sing second and are willing to, you're singing second forever (since most of the soprano section usually consists of people who don't really read music but who can sing the melody and people with the Diva Gene who can't bear not to sing the big glory notes). That means that when the sopranos get to the really high notes, I'm usually singing a lower note in the chord. But this Sunday, I was singing with a quintet and was the only soprano. The song ended with the soprano line on an E-flat, but then there were little parenthetical notes written above that, going up to a G and then a B-flat, and the choir director said to do those if I could. I did the G in rehearsals on Wednesday because that one is easy. Then I practiced and found that the B-flat wasn't so hard. It just takes confidence, and that's the sticking point because I get terrible stage fright about singing. Plus, this was early in the morning when I could probably sing bass. But I warmed up pretty well, and then when we ran through the song, I did it, and I was still able to do it when we sang during the service. I resisted the urge for a fist pump, but I'll admit that I was buzzing a little all day. I don't think I'm cured of the stage fright, but a good performance experience does help stop the downward spiral of fear, where fear makes me perform badly, which makes me even more afraid for the next time.

I would like to get some writing done this week, but given my schedule, I have to admit that it may not happen. Next week I suspect there will be serious Cave Time after being around people all this week. Is it bad that although I'm looking forward to the convention, I'm also looking forward to the weekend after the convention, when I can hole up in my house and not do anything? I'm already hoping for rain that weekend. I have books I want to dive into.

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